action, adventure, dreams, New Years Eve

Inspired: An impossible vision will serve you well

Alice in Wonderland - my inspiration to believe in the impossible
Alice in Wonderland – my inspiration to believe in the impossible

On Friday, I had a meeting with someone who explained his definition of vision: “It’s something that keeps us constantly reaching; a place we never really get to. And if by chance, we do reach our vision then we know that we haven’t dreamed big enough.” His idea intrigued me. I’d never heard it put quite that way before. It caused me to think that maybe I’ve been selling myself short; perhaps I haven’t dreamed big enough. And maybe it’s time. Can I make 2015 a year of wonderful and inspiring impossibles? I guess I won’t know unless I try.

inspiration, New Years Eve, theatre, writing

Beautiful: 2014 Will Be a Year to Inspire

From Pinterest
From Pinterest

Last week Aimee Johnson, one of my blog readers, wrote me an email to thank me for helping to inspire her on her path to healing. She started her own blog as a result: I’ve never met Aimee in-person though she wanted to make sure I knew how important my writing was to her, that my daily posts give her the motivation to keep going. I am humbled by her sentiments and her thoughtfulness to send me this note.

Just that morning I had been wondering how to structure this blog in 2014. I try to stick with a theme every year and 2013 was a year dedicated to making something beautiful, in my case a life and a career. Until I got Aimee’s email I was struggling with what to do for 2014. Aimee helped me solve that problem – 2014 will be about inspiring others and shining a spotlight on people who inspire me. I want to help people let go of things that don’t serve them and take more chances. Stories give us the courage we need to make that happen.

I’ve got a good feeling about 2014. Something tells me it’s going to be one of those landmark years with twists and turns and wild rides. I’m ready for it. I’m ready for all of it. Happy New Year!

New Years Eve, peace

Beautiful: Relish the Lull

a7d7440184ef3e453de5b83da1232075“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ~ Ram Dass

The days just before the New Year are magical and unique. They give us a lull to look back, be where we are, and look ahead all at the same time. Generally they’re quiet – a good time to catch up with friends, organize, and rest. It’s a time of Thanksgiving and a time tailor-made for imagining and crafting the life we want as the calendar turns over. Enjoy it.

adventure, New Years Eve

Beautiful: Here Comes the New Year. Time for Adventure.

From Pinterest
From Pinterest

As I’m whipping up some goodness from leftover Christmas feasts, my attention moves toward reflection. This year held so many surprises. I had no idea how it would unfold. I just knew that I wanted to focus on being true to myself by making something beautiful. I’ve been writing about his journey every day all year. I went out into the world to find beauty and I worked on creating it in my own life. It’s been a year of purpose and it feels amazing. The year coming up will hold a bit more structure and a bit more focus:

– I’ll produce the play I wrote, Sing After Storms, at the Thespis Theater Festival in New York in June.
– I’m working on my book, Your Second Step.
– I’ll run the New York City marathon in November.
– I hope to take two big international trips – one to Africa and one to China and Japan, both to visit friends who live there.
– I’m hopeful that I’ll add several new steady content development clients in January.

Just writing down these bullets shows me that 2014 will be an incredible year of transformation and growth. Much to learn, see, and do. I’m ready for the adventure.

choices, determination, dreams, holiday, New Years Eve

Leap: 2013, We’re On Our Way


In the movie Ratatouille, Linguini sets his mind to pull it together and go after his dream with the help of his wee partner in crime. His simple declaration “let’s do this thing” has been my mantra this year.

And what a year it’s been. It was a leap year for me in every sense. I put some old demons to rest. I went after the craziest of dreams. I took big risks. I pushed myself far beyond any limits I thought I had. I won and lost in equal amounts, and I wouldn’t trade a single one of those experiences. I take John Lennon’s advice to heart every single day – I don’t want to die with the music still in me. In every area of my life, I took the chance of looking like a fool because I don’t want to have any regrets. All of these leaps have been totally worth the effort, regardless of the outcome.

Now 2013 is upon us. Rather than making any specific resolutions, I’m taking my cue from Linguini. 2013, I’m coming for you and I mean to make this year a break out year on all fronts. Happy New Year everyone – let’s do this thing!

adventure, business, career, creativity, New Years Eve, New York, New York City, wishes, writing, yoga

Leap: My 2012 Resolution, Four and a Half Years in the Making

In 2007, I graduated from business school, where I wrote a few feature columns for my school’s newspaper thanks to my friend, Alice, who was the Editor-in-Chief. I had always wanted to be a writer but was never sure I was talented enough to make a go of it. I really enjoyed the writing and a lot of my classmates complimented the columns. At graduation, my friend, Stephen, asked me if I intended to keep writing. I smiled, looked down at the ground, and said I wasn’t sure. “You should start a blog,” he said. I laughed. “Who would read it?” I asked. “I would read it,” he said. One reader was enough for me. It was a start, a beginning, and that was really all I needed.

The week after graduation, I sat on the couch in my living room in Charlottesville surrounded by moving boxes, opened Google, and typed in “free blogging software.” Blogger came up. I had an account from when I started my first blog, Eyes and Ears Wide Open, way back in 2004. It was private because I wasn’t sure at that time that I wanted strangers reading about my life. (How funny that seems now that I live much of my life online!) I reactivated my account and started the blog Christa In New York as a way of unleashing a writer who had been kicking around in me for many, many years.

How I learned to write
After a year and a half of bumbling around learning how to write, I decided I wanted to become a really good writer and the only way I knew how to make that happen was to practice every day. And the sure-fire way to make that happen would be to publicly promise as my 2009 resolution that I would write and publish every day. I kept my resolution and in 2009, I wrote every day about hope. My greatest lesson from that writing journey was that the more often we look for hope, the more likely we are to find it.

In 2010, I bundled up all of that hope and put my daily efforts toward crafting an extraordinary life. I discovered the truth that we build an extraordinary life by finding something extraordinary in ordinary moments.

To amp up my extraordinary living, I used 2011 as a year of new beginnings so that I could get into a beginner’s mindset – exploring, experimenting, and tinkering. As 2011 drew to a close, I wondered for a long time about how I could best make use of this beginner’s mindset. Where would I go from here?

Was there an ending in all this beginning?
I wondered if this would be the end of this blog altogether. I wondered if all this beginning was leading me toward an ending of this chapter. To experiment with that idea, I gave up writing on the weekends for a couple of weeks. I missed posting every day so much that I quickly reversed that decision. Four and a half years later, writing has become an integral part of who I am and how I spent my time. It brings me a lot of joy – and that’s the #1 reason I keep at it.

Perhaps another ending was in order. I briefly considered leaving New York and relocating to the west coast. That caused me to look differently at my city. Was I really ready to move? Could I really leave behind 4+ years worth of effort building a life I love? In about a month’s time, I reversed that decision, too. New York is my home, as crazy and unpredictable as it is. It’s where I belong and that’s a joyful thing to feel.

To solve this riddle, I began to look around at the other areas of my life assessing what brings me joy and what doesn’t. I love my yoga teaching and the healthcare field fascinates me. I adore stories – written, spoken, acted, and sung. I’m passionate about doing good work for people who need help and don’t know where or to whom to turn. I’m happiest when I’m making my own choices.

An ending found
The area of my life that seems to deplete me the most is the place where I spend 40+ hours / week. Though I’m incredibly grateful for the financial stability and experience I’ve gained as part of a large company, the work doesn’t inspire me and it’s not the best use of my skills. I’ve made a number of very good friends there whom I’m sure I will know all of my life. I’ve learned so much there, about the economy, the world, and myself. As 2011 drew to a close, I became acutely aware that I have learned all that I want to learn there. It’s time to move on.

I began to look around, applying to jobs that seemed mildly interesting. I interviewed and received a few offers, though in the end they all seemed to be variations on a theme, a theme I already had in my current job. After a few months, I could see myself in those new roles, unhappy with the circumstances and no better off than I am at my current job. If I wanted the job of my dreams, I would have to build it.

A beginning that was here all along
And so I realized that Compass Yoga could provide me with everything I wanted in a job – I could teach, write, be part of the healthcare field, and help people who really needed the help. I had the job I wanted all along. The trick is now to turn how I make a life into making a living.

So there it is, my 2012 resolution: to make the leap from my job into Compass Yoga full-time. It’s going to be a long and winding road, with many different twists, turns, stops, and starts along the way. I’ll be securing my footing along the path that I know I’m supposed to walk even though I’m not yet sure of all the steps I’ll need to take. Every day in 2012, I’ll be writing about this journey and I hope you’ll join me as this path is paved. Welcome to the beginning of a transformation a long time in the making. And happy new year!

celebration, holiday, New Years Eve, writing

Beginning: The Art and Possibilities of Learning to Begin

“Look at everything that has come before as preparation for the spectacular future you have in store!” ~ TheSingleWoman

“There will come a time when you think everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” ~Louis L’Amour via TheSingleWoman

One of my greatest beginnings this year in my self-proclaimed year of beginnings was the decision to write daily about the idea of beginnings. Last Fall I was inspired by my friend, Amanda’s, request for a blog post about how I stay sane in NYC. I hold it together by constantly reminding myself that it’s always okay to be at the beginning. We always have to start somewhere. It’s an especially powerful sentiment in New York City, a city of experts on just about every subject there is. The post inspired an entire year of living and writing about beginning. In 365 days, I wanted to become an expert beginner. And it worked!

As 2011 draws to a close and 2012 fully blossoms, my beginner’s outlook is stronger, healthier, and more vibrant than ever. I’ve learned to lessen my grip on the desire for perfection and to be kinder to myself as I’m learning something new. I faced down the biggest fears of my life. Sometimes I failed and sometimes I succeeded in the new beginnings I tried. No matter the circumstances, I learned to enjoy the view because every step in a journey provides us with a brand new vista. And we will never pass exactly this way again under the exact same circumstances.

Each moment is a new beginning in and of itself. Beginning is living, and so if we can master beginning then our possibilities for living, really living, are limitless.

My new writing adventure begins tomorrow. Tune in to get the scoop on my 2012 living and writing plans. As always, I’m just getting started!

holiday, New Years Eve, wishes

Beginning: Anticipating the End and Then a Beginning

“Your someday is now.” ~ @bodyheart

This time of year brings a lot of anticipation. We’ve been buying gifts, making travel arrangements, setting holiday dinner menus, planning time to see dear friends and family, reflecting on the year that’s almost over, and pondering the landscape of the year to come with resolutions and changes. The long wait is over and the holidays are now in full swing.

We wait in wonder for this time of universal change when the clock strikes midnight on the very first day of our new year and we all get a clean slate. We are giddy with excitement, and maybe just a touch of anxiety. Change of any kind can be simultaneously inspiring and scary for all of us.

This next week is a magical time and one of my favorites. Its days are dreamy, filled with hope and promise. 2011 was a rough year the world over. And now that I think about it, these past several years have been a rough go. There’s something special about 2012. I can’t recall the last time I was this excited about a new year. A firm believer in the idea that we can make a fresh start at any time in any place, I’m surprised by how much I’m looking forward to toasting with a little bubbly and joining in on a verse of Auld Lang Syne.

But there will be time for that. The new year will be here soon enough and our plans will begin to take shape. For now, I’m deeply breathing in every ounce of holiday I can find, knowing that everything on the other side of 2011 is going to be just fine. I’m taking in this moment, right now, and tossing up a healthy dose of gratitude for my existence in it.

Happy holidays to all!

change, meditation, New Years Eve, yoga

Step 363: 4 Ways to Bring About A Transformation

“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” ~ Wayne Dyer

On Monday I wrote about caterpillars. Yesterday I wrote about focusing on goals of value rather than success. Some people get Spring fever. I’ve got New Year’s fever! As we take a look toward 2011 just days away from now, we’re reflecting on the lives we had, the lives we have now, and the lives we’d like to have going forward. We’re setting goals, making resolutions, and positioning ourselves to hit that big ol’ restart button when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st.

And if we are to be successful. if we are to really make lasting, meaningful changes, writing it down, finding buddies to help us keep up our resolutions, or any other mechanism to keep us on the straight and narrow won’t do the trick unless we are really willing to take Wayne Dyer’s counsel. To change our lives, we need to change our minds. And that’s no small feat.

I’ve got some ideas to help you expand your mind if you’re a resolution-making kind of person – I certainly am.

1.) Meditation will help – even just 5 minutes a day. Take a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and just breath for 5 minutes.

2.) Yoga will help, particularly if practiced consistently in small doses.

3.) Certainly I believe in writing down goals and getting buddies who have the same ones. There is strength in reminders and numbers.

4.) Getting some good rest and eating well helps just about everything, including the noble and difficult task of expanding our minds.

5.) Pick up a book by someone who has a very different viewpoint on a topic you are passionate about. Nothing expands the mind by having to see a subject through someone else’s eyes. For example, I completely disagree with Condoleezza Rice’s politics but her story fascinates me so I’m going to pick up her new book about her upbringing. Coincidentally, it’s called Extraordinary, Ordinary People – the subject I’ve been writing about every day for the past year. I love synchronicity!)

Now stand in the center of your world as it currently exists, take in the view, and then decide what it is you’d really like to see change in the year ahead, and how you’re willing to change your mind to get that to happen. I promise to share my journey and I hope you will, too!

The image above can be found here.

decision-making, Examiner, goals, New Years Eve 5 Tips to Help You Create and Achieve New Year’s Resolutions

So here it is: time to crank out a list of lofty resolutions that you know will never last past January 31st, right? Don’t do this to yourself. Please. You’ll feel like a failure, and that’s just not fair to do that to yourself. knows this, and they’ve asked all of their writers to share tips on how to make readers wildly successful with their New Year’s Resolutions in 2010.

I just posted 5 tips, followed by a personal story of my 2009 resolution, that I hope will be helpful to you as you begin to turn your attention toward a bright new year teeming with possibility. For the article, please click here.
The image above is not my own. It can be found here.